Is Ignorance Happiness?

In Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project - she set all sorts of resolutions for herself in order to try to make herself happier. (It worked!)

However, towards the end of her 1-year project she noticed that in some ways, she made herself less happy. She made herself far more aware of her faults and she felt more disappointed when she slipped up.

In her book she says, "Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy," and a heightened awareness of my failings, though salutary, wasn't bringing me happiness in the short term - but in the long term, I was sure, I'd be happier as a consequence of behaving better."

She was comforted by the words of Benjamin Franklin:

"On the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it."

I've said many times ignorance is bliss. Because once you're aware of something, it's hard to ignore it.

Sure, it's be easier to chain-smoke and watch TV all night eating whatever you please. Especially, if you don't know any better.

But we all do know better. Obviously! And that's what upsets me so much because there are so many people who do know better but can't take the appropriate actions to get to where they want to be. They just can't stick with it.

And when there's a knowing or a desire without action, unhappiness ensues.

When you're trying to improve something, you become aware of everything in that aspect. We notice what we want to notice.

However, that can lead to feeling unhappy or inferior. "Ugh, why bother?" we think. Or, when we do make the inevitable poor choices (we're not robots!) we feel extra bad about it because we're so aware of it!

But that doesn't mean you should not try. I'm convinced (along with many others) trying will lead to far greater happiness than just accepting where you're at with your health and fitness.

So next time you feel bad, and next time we point something out to you (try eating this or that, etc.) realize it's only said with love.

There's no such thing as perfection anyway. Only progress - and that feels awesome.

More awesome than just hoping and wishing.


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